Discover Adds Streaming Services to 2021 5% Back Calendar

couple watching TV at home
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Discover added streaming to its 5% cash-back calendar for 2021, a nod to changing spending habits during the pandemic. 

The rewards credit card issuer released its 2021 rotating bonus category calendar on Sunday, a guide to the types of purchases eligible to earn extra rewards each quarter for several of its credit cards. Cardholders will earn 5% back on purchases made with more than 20 streaming service providers in the second quarter next year. Eligible streaming services include Apple TV+, Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube TV. 

The streaming service addition replaces the Uber and Lyft category Discover included in its bonus category line-up this past spring. The rest of the 2021 bonus rewards lineup is identical to the issuer’s collection in 2020. 

2021 Discover 5% Cash Back Calendar
Quarter Purchase Category Activation Date
Q1 (January-March 2021) Grocery stores, Walgreens, and CVS Activate now
Q2 (April-June 2021) Gas stations, wholesale clubs (e.g., Sam's Club), and eligible streaming services Starting Feb. 1, 2021
Q3 (July-September 2021) Restaurants and PayPal Starting May 1, 2021
Q4 (October-December 2021) Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com Starting Aug. 1, 2021

Consumers with these Discover rewards cards can take advantage of the 2021 bonus categories:

  • Discover it Cash Back
  • Discover it Student Cash Back
  • Discover it Balance Transfer (not open for new applications)
  • NHL Discover it

Cardholders can earn 5% back in the rotating bonus categories on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter. The offers must be activated beforehand, which can be done online or through the Discover mobile app. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. 

Discover is not the first card issuer to offer rewards on streaming service purchases as a result of the pandemic. Both American Express and Capital One are offering some cardholders rewards on similar purchases through the end of 2020. The Chase Freedom Flex card, which launched in September and is very similar to the Discover cash-back rewards cards, doesn’t currently offer cash back on streaming services, but Chase has not announced its 2021 bonus categories yet. 

Article Sources

  1. Discover. "Discover Unveils Full 5% Cashback Bonus Calendar for 2021." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.

  2. Discover. "The New 5% Calendar is here." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.